With CityCrop and its smart features, the user can easily cultivate fresh vegetables and fruits anywhere
The London-based start-up CityCrop, founded in 2015 by two Greeks, offers a ‘smart’ device and mobile app that simplifies the cultivating process, allowing its users to control and monitor their crops. Based on the technique of hydroponics, CityCrop offers a fully-automated indoor garden, where leafy green vegetables, herbs, fruits, edible flowers and microgreens can grow all year round. Because of its modern design, the device can easily be put in every space (from the kitchen to the living room) and is addressed not only to individuals but also professionals in the field of catering, accommodation, entertainment, sports, and even education.
Farming in 3 easy steps
As soon as the device is connected to a wifi, the farming process can begin. First, the user selects the seeds to be cultivated by virtually positioning them within the app. He then physically places them inside the device and sets it in operation mode. Even without specific agronomic knowledge, the user can cultivate 3 times faster, using 60% less fertilizer, with no pesticides and with up to 98% less water consumption in comparison to conventional farming.
The real innovation of the CityCrop lies in its advanced algorithms, which create the appropriate microclimate in order to achieve the best yield for each crop. With an array of sensors, temperature, humidity, lighting and pH in water are controlled 24/7. In case the water level in the tank is low, the user is notified to refill it and if there is a problem with the color of the leaves of a plant, the user can send a photo and the company's experts offer immediate counselling. The user is also noticed when it is the right time to harvest.
The philosophy of ‘indoor farming’
Concerns related to modern lifestyle and nutrition (inappropriate use of pesticides, waste of fresh water just to name a few), motivated the two innovators to design CityCrop. They had also noticed that people living in big cities are looking for solutions and alternative suggestions that address these issues. ‘Indoor farming’, and in particular indoor hydroponics, will be the cultivation of the future and there are already many effort made in this direction worldwide. But although there are currently several similar products in the market, none of them yet combines all the benefits of the CityCrop device.
The production rate
The user can select between a wide range of vegetables (lettuce, spinach, rocket), herbs (basil, mint, oregano), micro-greens, small fruits (strawberries, tomatoes), even edible flowers (calendula, rose leaf) etc. The monthly production depends on the plants that are cultivated, with an average of 5-7 kg (when 200g of lettuce is enough for a daily salad!). The results are very impressive and promising for the future. The product is still in prototype stage, while pre-orders can be made at a cost of £199 at deposit and another £700 at shipping (first shipments are expected to take place in mid-2018).